Balancing the energy trilemma through the Energy Justice Metric

Raphael J. Heffron (Lead / Corresponding author), Darren McCauley, Gerardo Zarazua de Rubens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
208 Downloads (Pure)


Energy justice is a fast emerging research and policy tool which captures the injustices across the energy life-cycle, i.e., from ‘cradle-to-grave’. The Energy Justice Metric (EJM) quantifies energy justice through analyzing the energy justice performance of different countries utilising data from international institutions and national governments. This paper identifies why there is a need for a modeling tool such as the EJM which focuses on the full energy life-cycle and also has a distributive (inequality-correcting) oriented approach. The EJM demonstrates how a country can achieve an improved balance between the three competing aims of the energy trilemma, i.e. economics, politics and the environment. A key feature of the EJM is modeling energy justice using a ternary plot where the energy justice performance of a country can be transferred directly onto the energy trilemma. In this paper, five countries are analysed, the US, UK, Germany, Denmark and Ireland. The EJM presents a research and policy decision-making tool that can contribute to the growing literature that tackles the issue of inequality in society, and informs on society's decision on which energy source would be more just for a society to build.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1191-1201
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Energy
Early online date28 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Distributive justice
  • Energy economics
  • Energy justice
  • Energy justice metric
  • Energy trilemma
  • Societal inequality

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